BBC producer John Ware has provided further details on the antisemitic views of Israeli Muslim Brotherhood leader Raed Salah who was arrested yesterday after U.K immigration officials inexplicably allowed him in to the country despite his presence on a list of banned individuals. According to his BBC report:
Probe into banned activist in UK Sheikh Raed Salah, now in custody as he awaits deportation from the UK, is the latest of several clerics and preachers whom the home secretary has banned from entering the country. The Israeli-Arab sheikh is the thrice-elected mayor of his hometown Um al-Faham, an Arab enclave within Israel, and is leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, which is opposed to the 1993 Oslo peace accords advocating a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Although the Islamic Movement is not banned in Israel, it is closely aligned to Hamas, which is designated in the UK and mainland Europe as a terrorist organisation. However, that would not have been sufficient for Home Secretary Theresa May to ban the sheikh. Some of those due to host him at his various speaking engagements are themselves open supporters of Hamas. The Home Office has refused to elaborate on exactly why Sheikh Salah’s presence has been judged “not conducive to the public good”. However, before becoming prime minister, David Cameron stressed that it was important to challenge the “extremist mindset” and that he thought a lack of understanding about its make up was “more widespread”. Supporters of the sheikh insist he is opposed to all forms of racism. Sheikh Salah’s Islamic Movement is reported to have mourned the death of Osama Bin Laden, calling him a “martyr” and his killers “Satanic”. While British law entitles such a view to be expressed, it could weigh as a factor in denying entry to a non-British citizen. Conspiracy theory Another consideration may have been an article that Sheikh Salah wrote three weeks after the 9/11 attacks, in which he said that unlike Muslim workers in the World Trade Center, Jewish workers had been absent on 9/11. “Were 4,000 Jewish clerks absent by chance, or was there another reason?” he asked, alluding to a conspiracy theory that is still advanced by some extreme groups that the Israeli secret service Mossad – not al-Qaeda – was behind the attack that killed nearly 3,000 people. Although similar 9/11 conspiracy theories have been found to be not uncommon within some Islamist groups in Britain, this could also have counted against Sheikh Salah. He is also reported to have made a speech in February 2007 during a protest in East Jerusalem in which he accused Jews of using children’s blood to bake bread.
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The report also indicates that Salah had been due to attend a House of Commons meeting on Wednesday evening along with Labour MPs. Tunisian media reports that Rachid Ghannouchi, a prominent leader of the Global Muslim Brotherhood and head of the Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood, took part in a roundtable at the Parliament last week organized by the Middle East Monitor. (it should be noted that the Middle East Monitor has captioned a picture of Raed Salah as “The Gandhi of Palestine.”
In May 2003, Salah was arrested along with other Northern Islamic Movement officials on suspicion of transferring funds to Hamas under the pretense of humanitarian aid. He was released after two years under the terms of a plea bargain. In August 2007, Salah was indicted for “inciting racism and violence” for calling for a “third Intifada,” or uprising, to defend the mosque and in 2008 Israeli security forces raided the offices of the Islamic Movement in northern Israel accusing it of aiding Hamas. In 2009, Salah said that Israel had a ‘diabolical plan” to cause the Al–Aqsa Mosque to collapse “in a way that would appear as is happening as a result of natural causes, such an earthquake.” In January 2010, Salah was convicted of assaulting an Israeli policeman and participating in a violent demonstration.
According to the Jerusalem Post, the U.K. government plans to deport Salah but he is planning an appeal of this decision.